In a surprise to almost no one, gaming behemoth Blizzard has announced Diablo IV at this year's BlizzCon, Blizzard's annual gaming convention.
It was an announcement that everyone has been anticipating for, well, at least since last year's BlizzCon where it was a surprise omission. This time round, as the first announced game at the convention, Diablo IV has been described by game director, Luis Barriga, as returning to the series' darker roots, providing a 'bleak and shattered hellscape bereft of hope and beset by demons'.
Not everything has been announced about Diablo IV just yet, but there are a few key details out there. Notably, three of its five classes will be Barbarian, Sorceress, and Druid. In each case, you'll be able to customise them extensively via talent trees and individual skills. And, of course, there's a massive wealth of items out there to collect, along with some personal mounts too.
The Barbarian class will allow you to carry and rapidly switch between four different weapons at a time, providing a more brutal experience than previous Barbarians in the Diablo series. The Sorceress is set to return to its Diablo II roots, allowing you to obliterate your foes by impaling them upon jagged spikes of ice, electrocuting them with bolts of lightning, or raining flaming meteors from the sky.
The Druid sounds reminiscent of the class in World of Warcraft as well as the class in Diablo II, offering players the chance to switch between werewolf, were bear, and human form, as and when works for them.
The bad news for some? Diablo IV is set to be online-only, which won't delight everyone. According to a statement from project lead, Angela Del Priore, you'll be able to play solo but you'll still need an internet connection for the game to work. On the plus side, it'll be simple enough to group and trade with other players, as well as be a little extra bloodthirsty in PvP zones.
It does give room for a different structure, though. Diablo IV promises to be a non-linear, shared open world. Rather than going through Act 1, 2 and so forth, you'll be free to go where you want, albeit with some places being a little too tough at times to get far. The world will also be about 10 or 20 times bigger than its predecessor, hence the need for mounts.
A release date hasn't been announced yet for Diablo IV, and the panel was cautious to suggest a time. Current rumours indicate that it won't be until at least 2022 that we'll see this vast world for ourselves. So far, it's only been announced for PC, Xbox One and Playstation 4, but we'd expect to see the next-generation consoles included by that point too.
More information on the game's announcement is available from the official Diablo IV site.
April 7 2020 | 14:00